Chili Verde from Rick Mahan

Chili Verde from Rick Mahan, Chef/Owner of Waterboy and One Speed

*If you have a large enough pot this recipe can be doubled pretty easily. Since it is a bit involved, I usually make a double recipe and freeze the extra part for later. Also, your hands will thank you if you wear gloves while prepping the peppers – even the less hot Poblano s and pasilla peppers will cause your fingertips to burn for a couple of days if you don’t. Not to mention the Jalepenos!


4lbs. Boneless Pork Shoulder (aka: boneless pork roast or pork butt – get good
Quality meat from a good meat market)
2 Russet Potatoes
3 Poblano or Padilla Peppers (quartered and seeded)
2 small or 1 large Jalapeño peppers ( I usually use less – only 1/2 of a pepper with all
Seeds removed. Adjust to your taste) -quartered
1 Onion, sliced
1 lb tomatillos – husk removed. Cut in half (usually 6 or 7 to the pound)
1/2 bunch of cilantro
4-5 cloves of garlic (can slice it or leave it whole)
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin
Kosher Salt (Diamond Crystal the preferred brand)
Water or chicken stock to cover (about 1 quart) Homemade chicken stock is better, but
Store-bought ok too. He usually does half and half (H2O & Chix stk)
Canola Oil

Garnishes: tortillas, lime, avocado, sour cream, queso fresco or pico de gallo

Day before: or evening before:
Trim any thick excess fat from the meat. Mix Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Pepper together, and rub all over meat. Wrap seasoned meat in plastic wrap and refrigerate
Overnight (or even for a day or 2). Rick says they do this every night during
Restaurant closing, then it is ready to cook the next day. I have made it
Without the overnight seasoning, and it’s still good, but I think the flavor is
Better with a longer time for seasoning.

To Cook: (next day)

– Heat skillet to hot. Add Canola Oil – when oil is hot, add meat (The meat is still one large roast.) Brown on all sides (3 or so minutes per side – whatever is needed to get good browning on your stove – the goal is a good browned exterior not cooking the meat through). The meat will still be raw inside. Set meat aside.

– Sear the quartered Poblano or Pasilla Peppers in the oil. There should be some blackened places on the skin of the peppers, but not completely burned. Season with Kosher Salt. Remove the peppers from the skillet and set aside to cool. (You could also do this on a hot grill)

– Put Onions, Tomatillos , Jalepenos and garlic in the skillet – may need to add a little
Canola Oil. Cook them until they are all soft and the onions are translucent. Remove
From pan and set aside to cool.

– while the vegetables are cooling, cube the meat into approx 2″ size pieces. (Can make a little smaller if you want.) The meat will still be raw inside. Put the cubed meat in a large enough pot to hold everything, and cover with Chicken Stock and/or Water.

– Put room temp vegetables in a food processor with the cilantro – including about half the stems. Blend. Add water if needed to make it smoother.

– Add vegetables to the pot holding the meat. Stir together. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add a “good teaspoon” of Cumin and one of Chili Powder (Rick’s words). Bring to a simmer on the stove. “Cook until done” – can do on the stove or in the oven. Rick prefers the oven – set at 325 for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours. Do Not put a lid on the pot. Rick uses a piece of parchment paper to cover the liquid (set inside the rim of the pot). This allows for some steam to escape (The liquid will thicken a bit), and keeps the temp inside the pot from getting too high and over-cooking the meat. The oven temp is regulated, and also even around the whole pot so it does a better job of even cooking without over-cooking the part on the bottom.

– The potatoes can be peeled, cubed and added to the pot with about 1/2 hour remaining to cook.

– After it comes out of the oven add a pinch of Cumin. Taste and may need to add a little Kosher Salt.

– Like most stews, etc.. it will be better the second day. Can be frozen and reheated. If you are going to freeze it, you may want to wait until re-heating to add the potatoes.


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